Metal Fabrication year end wrap: Recovery, 3D Printing and Giving Back
With winter now upon us, the metal fabrication market continues to be poised for recovery in the US. Though there have been some slowdowns and shifts as the market adapts to different conditions while the US continues recovering from the economic downturn, there have been good signs of overall growth. Here are some briefs on pieces you may have missed over the past few weeks with links to additional information:
- The Institute for Supply Management reported that fabricated metal products were among several industries enjoying a 0.2% increase in new orders with ISM’s new orders index reaching 66%. Manufacturing jobs have also continued to show improvements, while drops in raw materials and the price index may be responsible for increased orders as we approach the holiday season. Information courtesy of our friends at Industry Week.
- We noted that NIBCO is doing some interesting work in the supply chain area – implementing the SAP Transportation Management solution in just 19 weeks – leading to 88% faster shipment planning, 1.7% increase in volume shipped with the same resources and a 3% reduction in hundred weight costs. Read more details here.
- Lloyd’s Register Energy has announced a Joint Industry Project to develop standards on additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing.
Projected to grow by up to 390% over the next seven years, the new process is already causing a significant effect on supply chains worldwide. The current joint industry project is focusing on the energy industry. Because these industries have had significant spills in the past, there is strong scrutiny on the safety of components in petroleum product retrieval. With the metal fabrication so strongly involved in providing high-quality, safe components for the petroleum industry, standardization is needed to develop additive manufactured components that meet that industry’s stringent safety requirements. Read more details on this development at our article here.
- Following enforced tariffs on Chinese imports, domestic extruded aluminum markets have noted increases in business. A study conducted by Ducker Worldwide for the Aluminum Extruders Council found that up to 20% of domestic market production had returned to the US following the implementation of the tariffs. Prior to the tariffs being put into play, the Chinese market had absorbed 20% of the US market, and following the tariffs, less than 1% of the production remained in China. In response, China has been developing value added metal fabrication technologies including larger presses, developing downstream capabilities and improving their engineering resources.
- With the holiday just past, we’ve taken a rundown of a couple metal fabrication industry companies’ non-profit charitable efforts and
contributions, specifically Gerdau’s office in Jackson, Mississippi and ArcelorMittal’s operations in northwest Indiana. We also take some time to detail the effects donation drives and charitable efforts have on a business, including building brand recognition, networking and tax benefits. Additional information was also presented on how to set up a successful donation drive for a local charity to make the most impact. More information about these efforts is available in our article here.
As 2014 is now closed and we begin a new year – take the time to look at what you want to accomplish in the new year on personal, professional and company-wide levels. A little planning now will give you the extra kick you need when implementing new initiatives when January’s cold and grey. Here’s to a successful 2015!